It has been a pleasure visiting schools in January and having the opportunity to both observe and work with individual teachers who requested help planning as well as looking for ways to improve instruction. 

Shout out to Ms. Saunier at HSA Youngstown who asked for some advice and allowed me to see help her  implement some suggestions.  Her questions challenged me to think about how I would approach instruction for two Science articles from the 7th grade text. She expressed appreciation for helping her clarify  ideas and being able to create more focus for the lesson.  Adding, that holding her students accountable for the steps to complete their work  made their work  more measurable.  I am happy to provide this type of service and want you to know that if this is something you need,  please call.




I  also had the privilege of observing Ms. Tod on my recent trip to HSA Toledo.  She is an exemplary educator and I was in awe of her classroom.  It was very well run with tight procedures and a rich classroom library that put reading at the center of learning.  Her lesson had clear expectations, a gradual release of responsibility, and a measurable outcome.  She informed me she was a progressive educator who always seeks out professional development opportunities.  “I love project-based assessments, inquiry-based learning, reading challenges, using new technologies, and writing for authentic audiences,” she said. 




I have been checking on our new teachers individually, offering Webinars, and doing some PD sessions on reading, formal and informal assessments, and differentiated group work.Again, please know that I am happy to help, just give me a call or shoot me an email.  To get a flavor for one of these session request some excerpts. With the reading workshop we focused very directly on the overlap between guided and close reading.




It seems like many folks are in the middle of Unit 4, grades 6-12, and are ramping up for the tests coming up in the Spring.  I visited HSA Springfield and noted that Ms. Sweat was using our released test items in SIS to check standards mastery.  She was kind enough to record the steps for how to use test items in SIS for those of us who need them.  Click on the link below:

SIS Released Items

Here are some additional mini assessments for multiple grades that you might find helpful as well. 

The Literacy Mini-Assessment Sorter


We have two big events coming up in March.  Everyone has already received information for the Spoken Word Event and Writing Competition.  

Spoken Word – Lost & Found:  What’s Hidden in the Words and Music

March 22, 2020

Your school contact will be getting a registration email with rubrics by the end of this week.  You may also click the link below to print the information sheet and poster.  Many people have asked questions over the last few weeks.  In addition to the updates we made at the beginning of January, I want to remind everyone of the following:

  • There will be a hand held mic as well as mic stands
  • Students should focus on one song 
  • Swearing is prohibited 

School Contacts:





Writing Competition – You Find Your Truth Within

Entries Due March 27, 2020

For more information, click the link below.